I felt sad yesterday. Thoughts spun out of control in my mind until I sat down, coffee in hand, books by my side, and asked myself a simple question: why am I sad?
I wrote about this yesterday on Facebook and Instagram, and wanted to share this important message with you, but also dive a little deeper into why some people feel emotions and move through them while others just get stuck, spinning deeper into the emotion like a stuck tire digging itself into a pit.
The truth is, an array of things happened that I could attribute to my sadness.
Some people aren’t happy with me. The things I do aren’t good enough for them. They don’t like my voice in the guided meditations I create.
And of course it makes me wonder if what I’m doing even matters. Why fucking bother.
But then I paused and asked myself. Why am I sad?
And I realized that I’m sad because my course just ended.
It’s not the course causing the sadness, but the ending. I’m tired. I’ve worked hard. Gave the group my all, and now I’m sad not because anything worse than usual has happened, but because sadness is a washing away, a release.
Sadness is a river of movement that carries us from one place in our lives to the next.
Enter the sadness and let it wash away what no longer serves us. Let it clear room for what wants to enter in.
There are things shifting within me. My message is changing. I’m getting more clear about who I do and don’t want to work with. More on that to come.
But yesterday, honoring the sadness, the mellowness, the opportunity to let my energy ebb and flow and settle in a new way is the highest level of self-care I can do.
To just feel and not get attached to the thoughts but to just hang out in this space between. Not force myself to be happy or think positive, but just be. (Check out this video on why positive thinking doesn’t work.)
In years past, I would have attached to this sadness, let the sad-drunk thoughts influence me, decided that I sucked and probably quit everything, or at least seriously consider it.
(If you want to learn more about the messages of specific emotions, you must take my emotions course The Heart and Soul Sessions when it launches this fall.)
But emotions only want to be honored. They’re signs guiding our life. The thoughts that come from them don’t always mean anything.
Sometimes we just need to feel and honor and accept that we’re energetic beings, our conscious minds only a cherry atop a towering consciousness sundae rich in deep fudge and epic sweetness.
Yesterday, I ate the sundae. And yes, emotions can be a sweet experience even when they’re not so sweet if you take them for what they are. The texture of your soul.
Which brings us to the next question…
Why do some people feel their feelings and get stuck in them?
There’s a few reasons for this. The first, that I mentioned in the beginning of this post, is that feeling an emotion to process it involves simply sitting with it, investigating the feeling and not attaching to the thoughts related to that feeling. Download the technique I use to process my emotions below.
If you attach to the thoughts around that emotion, the emotion won’t process. If emotions are a root, emotions are the flower.
Unless you unroot the emotion, the flowers of thoughts will continue to blossom. You can’t unroot something if you’re still clinging to it. This isn’t a harsh process, but one of acceptance and awareness.
When you fully accept your feelings, you accept the circumstances the feelings represent.
This isn’t to say that it’s easy to let yourself feel sad and not think sad thoughts. The thoughts will come. The key is to not focus on them, or follow them too far.
So for example, I’ve been feeling sad today and a little mad, too.
These random criticisms deeply hurt my feelings, and lately it seems like the negative comments outweigh the positive ones. Sometimes it seems like it’d be easier to have a company where I didn’t have to care. One all about the numbers.
But before I go too far down that path, I pull myself back. I come back to the feeling, the feeling that I don’t want to feel, the feeling that’s creating these thoughts.
I know I’ve been working too much, and plan to take some time to chill before launching my next course, which is going to help you connect with others through authentically sharing your story on a blog or through social media, for fun or for profit.
Exhaustion makes it easier to get emotional.
So it’s just a sign to go within. It’s not the commenters’ fault that I feel sad or angry. It’s my thing, and my response-ability (ability to respond) to look within and feel it out.
I also know that this external situation is actually emanating from within. That I have weird insecurities about my voice and these random complaints only reflect my own insecurities.
Just like when I worried about the value of my courses, people complained I charged too much (even though my courses are, for now, priced well below what you’d expect to pay elsewhere.)
With that in mind, this is an opportunity to work through whatever weird relationship I have with my voice. To go within and ask, why?
And I guess this brings us to the second reason why some people don’t move through emotions:
People who don’t move through emotions hold onto the emotion hoping the outside world will change.
But the outside world isn’t going to change. The thing that happened is never going to go away, you’ll probably never get an apology, the other person still thinks you’re wrong, the people who told me they don’t like my voice will never like my voice, and I have to be okay with that.
It’s my job to get to the point where I don’t let it bother me. It’s my job to look within and say, okay, what is my part in creating this reality? What insecurity within me is being triggered, making me feel this way?
As I said earlier, accepting our feelings about a situation is accepting the situation, and likewise. The process of simply sitting and feeling is a powerful way to accept.
Resisting our circumstances makes us hold onto the emotion. This takes our power away while causing us to avoid doing the inner work that will actually help us become more solid in who we are.
That inner work is priceless, this journey of self-inquiry, and that’s exactly what I can help you learn: How to do self-inquiry and not get swept away by the pain, but instead root into it and learn from it.
Would love to hear your thoughts. What are your takeaways or insights? Share in the comments below.
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Most meditation techniques focus on the breath. This brings you into your body